Early life and education
Maxwell, born 1956 in Maisons Laffite, France, is the son of Elisabeth (née Meynard), a French-born scholar, and Robert Maxwell, a Czech-born media mogul. His father was Jewish and his mother was a French Protestant of Huguenot descent. He is one of nine siblings, of which two died in childhood. Relatives include sisters Isabel Maxwell, Christine Maxwell, and Ghislaine Maxwell, and brother Kevin Maxwell. The family moved to Headington Hill Hall in 1960.
His first involvement in his father's business was at Pergamon Press from 1978 to 1983. After a short time at the Prince's Charitable Trust, he rejoined the Maxwell business, this time at British Printing and Communications Corporation (later renamed Maxwell Communications Corporation).
Ian Maxwell was appointed chairman of Mirror Group Newspapers plc (MGN) following the death of his father on 5 November 1991. For the next month the group was the subject of speculation regarding its financial position. On 3 December 1991, Maxwell and his brother Kevin resigned from the board of Maxwell Communication Corporation and nine hours later resigned from MGN, following the disclosure that "many million" of pounds had been transferred from the Mirror Group pension fund to Robert Maxwell's private companies apparently without due authority. MGN announced "Because of increasing conflicts of interest, Ian Maxwell, chairman and publisher of MGN, Kevin Maxwell, and Michael Stoney, who has a major management involvement in the Maxwell private companies, have today resigned from the board of MGN and its subsidiaries and have also ceased their executive duties in the MGN Group."
In June of 1992, Ian Maxwell, Kevin Maxwell, and their financial advisor Larry Trachtenberg were arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud others of millions of dollars.
in 1996, Ian Maxwell, Kevin Maxwell, and Larry Trachtenberg were all acquitted.
In 1995, Maxwell was involved with Maximov publications, a company that focused on Russia and the former Soviet countries.
Maxwell announced, in September of 2018, that he and his brother Kevin had founded a UK think tank called Combating Jihadist Terrorism with the aim of better understanding terrorism and its causes.
Maxwell has been married twice. In 1991, he married television producer Laura Plumb. They divorced in 1996. In 1999, he married Tara Dudley Smith, the daughter of Jockey Club steward Susan Gilmour. They separated in 2009 and are believed to have divorced. Tara lives with their son in a ‘modest flat’ in Olympia.
- "Kevin and Ian Maxwell". BBC News Online. BBC. 29 March 2001.
- New York Times: "AT LUNCH WITH: Elisabeth Maxwell; Questions Without Answers" By ALEX WITCHEL 15 February 1995
- "1991: Publisher Robert Maxwell dies at sea". On This Day. BBC News. 5 November 1991. Retrieved 7 February 2007.
- "MGN continues to achieve 'highly satisfactory' results: Ian Maxwell". AFX News. AFP-Extel News. 7 November 1991.
- Nisse, Jason; Waterhouse, Rosie (4 December 1991). "Maxwells quit Mirror board; Serious Fraud Office set to investigate transfer of pension funds to firms controlled by Robert Maxwell". The Independent. Independent News & Media. p. 1.
- Touey, William (19 June 1992). [www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-06-19-fi-530-story.html "Maxwell's 2 Sons Arrested on Fraud Charges"] Check
|url=value (help). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Davies, Caroline (9 September 2018). "Robert Maxwell was to meet Bank official the day he died, say sons". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- The Daily Mail: "Cursed inheritance: Robert Maxwell's children cannot escape his poisonous legacy as his daughter gets embroiled in the Prince Andrew scandal" By Zoe Brennan 11 March 2011
- Q&A: What does the Maxwell report mean? BBC News. 2001-03-30
- On This Day: 1991: Maxwell business empire faces bankruptcy BBC News 1991-12-05
- Kevin Maxwell given 45 days to find £1m The Times 2004-06-18
- DTI will not take action against Maxwell chiefs The Scotsman 2002-03-16
- Kevin and Ian Maxwell BBC News 2001-03-29